Fire Department News Releases

 Your Family must “Be Ready for Anything!” (May 4, 2022)


Woodstock, ON – May 4, 2022 Emergency Preparedness Week is May 1 to 7, 2022.  This year’s theme is Emergency Preparedness: “Be Ready for Anything!”

Emergency Preparedness Week encourages Canadians to take concrete actions to be better prepared to protect themselves and their families during emergencies. This special week is a national effort lead by Public Safety Canada, provincial and territorial emergency management organizations, Indigenous organizations, non-governmental organizations, and private sector.

“Natural disasters may be beyond anyone’s control, but there are ways to reduce the risk and the impact of whatever emergency we might face” says Jeff Slager, Fire Chief and Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) for the City of Woodstock. “We encourage all Woodstock residents to take action as soon as possible and become better prepared by putting together an emergency kit for emergencies such as flood, tornado, fire, pandemic etc. Being prepared for anything is everyone’s business and safety of your family is in your hands!”

To highlight the importance of Emergency Preparedness, on May 4th, 2022 the Woodstock Fire Department, Woodstock Police Services, Oxford County EMS, Southwestern Public Health, Woodstock General Hospital, Salvation Army, Victim Services VASoc, and Woodstock Board of Works will be out at 645 Dundas Street in Woodstock to host Building Resiliency Expo Event. The goal of the event is to raise awareness among the public and to recognize the collective efforts of those involved in emergency preparedness.

The Woodstock Fire Department is sharing emergency preparedness information and reminders throughout the week through Twitter (@WoodstockFireDe), Facebook (@WoodstockFireDepartment) and Instagram (@woodstock_firedepartment). Residents may also visit for more information

We must become resilient together and “Be Ready for Anything!”



 Happy Holidays from the Chief! (December 23, 2021)


Woodstock, ON – December 23, 2021, On behalf of the Woodstock Fire Department, I want to wish all those who call the City of Woodstock home a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a fire safe holiday period.

While this year has continued to be challenging on all fronts, we have seen forward progress and the return of many “norms” that we cautiously set aside last year. We look forward to this holiday time to connect (safely) with family and enjoy some much needed down time.

May the holidays bring you rest and happiness.


Happy Holidays!


Jeff Slager, Fire Chief



 Keep fire safety in mind as temperatures drop! (November 12, 2021)

Woodstock, ON – November 12, 2021, The Woodstock Fire Department is reminding everyone to keep fire safety at the forefront as the temperatures turn colder.  “We tend to see an increase in fire incidents at home during the winter months due to the increased use of heating equipment and appliances,” said Fire Chief Jeff Slager. “We are urge everyone to be aware of potential fire hazards associated with fireplaces, furnaces, chimneys, vents, and space heaters.”  

There are some simple things people can do to stay fire safe during the colder months: 

  • Have all fuel-burning appliances inspected annually by a registered fuel contractor. Go to to find a contractor near you.
  • Keep chimneys and intake/exhaust vents for furnaces and heating appliances free of debris, ice and snow accumulations to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) build-up from inefficient combustion.
  • Burn dry, well-seasoned wood in fireplaces and woodstoves to reduce the risk of excessive creosote build-up in chimneys.
  • Allow ashes from your fireplace or woodstove to cool before emptying them into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Keep the container outside.
  • Keep space heaters at least one metre (3 feet) away from anything that can burn, including curtains, upholstery and clothing.
  • Replace worn or damaged electrical wires and connections on vehicles and extension cords and use the proper gauge extension cord for vehicle block heaters.
  • Consider using approved timers for vehicle block heaters rather than leaving heaters on all night.
  • Ensure that vehicles are not left running inside any garage or building.
  • Ensure there is a working smoke alarm on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your home.
  • Install CO alarms to alert you to the presence of this deadly gas.

Woodstock Fire Department reminds everyone that the Ontario Fire Code requires smoke alarms to be installed on every storey of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide alarms are required outside all sleeping areas if the home has a fuel-burning appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. For more information about smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, or fire safety, contact Woodstock Fire Department.


 WFD Weekend Fires (May 31, 2021)

Woodstock – May 31, 2021, Woodstock Firefighters were called to a structure fire on Friday May 28, at 1390 Dundas Street. Heavy smoke was visible on route. Upon arrival a shed was found to be fully involved. Initial reports were that an individual may have been staying in the shed; however, the individual was located safe on the property. Firefighters were quickly able to bring the fire under control. The attending Fire Inspector determined the cause of the fire to be the electrical failure of an extension cord. Damages are estimated to be $4,000.00.

The Woodstock Fire Department would like to offer the following fire safety tips for using electrical outlets and cords:

• Avoid running cords under rugs which can damage the cord and cause a fire.

• Avoid overloading a circuit with "octopus outlets". If additional outlets or circuits are required, have them installed by a licensed electrician.

 • Extension cords should be used only as a temporary connection. If permanent wiring is required, have additional outlets installed by a licensed electrician. Extension cords should not be linked together—use an extension cord that is long enough to do the job.

• Air conditioners and other heavy appliances should be plugged directly into an outlet.

• Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) should be installed in bathrooms, kitchens, and garages. GFCIs shut off an electrical circuit when it becomes a shock hazard.

• Check electrical cords for damage such as fraying or nicks. A damaged cord can expose wires and result in a potential shock or fire hazard.


On Sunday May 30, at 2:26 am firefighters were called to report of a barn fire at the corner of the 11th line and Oxford Road 17. It was determined to be in the East Zorra-Tavistock Fire Department response area and as part of the Oxford Fire Department’s Mutual Aid Agreement, Woodstock Fire Department remained and assisted with the fire.

“Incidents on the borders of Fire Department coverage areas can sometimes lead to the wrong Department being dispatched, if the address is not exactly known” said Fire Chief Jeff Slager.

“The Mutual Aid Agreement involving the Fire Departments of Oxford County provide opportunities for assistance in all types of responses, either due to specialize equipment and skills or simply the incorrect location being provided by the caller.” he added.

Fire Prevention Division would like to remind residents that smoke alarms are required on every level of your home, including outside of all sleeping areas. Smoke alarms provide you with an early warning should a fire occur and can allow advance time for you and your family to safely escape.

Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms today and ensure they are working!

If you require assistance or have questions please contact our Fire Prevention Division at (519) 537-3412 extension 5203 or you can also get safety information from the Woodstock Fire Department website, accessible from website.



 New Pierce Enforcer 107’ Ascendant, “Aerial 1” In Service in Woodstock (May 25, 2021)

The City of Woodstock, Ontario put its brand new Pierce 107’ Ascendant aerial into service on Friday, May 14th, replacing Woodstock’s Platform 1, which was damaged at the Nellis Street Fairgrounds fire. “When developing the RFP for a new aerial, we needed a unit that can operate effectively as either a sole apparatus response or as part of a multi-apparatus response, to address the changing needs of our Community” said Fire Chief Jeff Slager. “I’m extremely pleased with our new Aerial 1 being able to fit both of those roles.”

The 107’ Ascendant aerial sits on a Pierce Enforcer single axle chassis and is powered by a Cummins L9, 450 hp engine. Key features include a 22,800 lb. Oshkosh TAK-4 independent front suspension (IFT) and the Pierce Husky 3 foam system. The Oshkosh TAK-4 IFT provides improved ride quality & control, shortened stopping distances, increased load carrying capacity, advanced braking performance, and maximized maneuverability. The Husky 3 foam system is easy to operate with just a one-button operation required to create foam. The 3 gpm foam pump provides capacity to handle structure fires, wildland fires, automotive fires, and small class B spills. Additional key features include a 500 USG water tank, 20 USG foam tank, Waterous 2,000 gpm pump, Mechanical Q siren, and three crosslays.

“As the City of Woodstock continues to grow in both population and economic development, it is critical for our Fire Service to have the needed tools to meet this growth” said Deputy Fire Chief Trevor Shea. “Aerial 1 provides for the needs of our Department today and for where our needs will be in the future. ”Thank you to Fire Chief Slager and the City of Woodstock for trusting Commercial Emergency Equipment to provide you with your new Pierce fire apparatus.

If you require additional information about the Woodstock Fire Department please visit the City website, accessible from residential portion of the webpage and click on the fire department’s link. If you have questions you can also reach us by calling (519) 537-3412 extension 5203.


Leave Fireworks to the Experts Urges Local Fire Service (May 20, 2021)
Woodstock, ON – May 19, 2021 To minimize the risk of fire and burn injuries this Victoria Day weekend Woodstock Fire Department urges residents to consider the tips below when considering family fireworks.

“We understand that with the current stay-at-home order, families are looking for ways to have fun at home; however, fireworks can be extremely dangerous, especially for those not familiar with the hazards.” said Fire Chief Jeff Slager.  “If you do choose to have a display, follow our safety guidelines and be aware of combustibles in the area. Fireworks burn hot, and a star landing on a house or shed can lead to tragedy.” he added.

As an alternative there are many virtual fireworks being displayed this year and we encourage residents to tune in to enjoy them safely.

If you choose to have a family fireworks display, check with your local fire department about regulations regarding fireworks, in addition to following the stay-at-home protocols. Here are some important safety tips to be followed:

1. Appoint a responsible person to be in charge. Only adults who are aware of the hazards and essential safety precautions should handle and discharge fireworks.

2. Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.

3. Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by when discharging fireworks.

4. Discharge fireworks well away from combustible materials like buildings, trees and dry grass.

5. Keep onlookers a safe distance away, upwind from the area where fireworks are discharged.

6. Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground. Never try to light a firework in your hand or re-light dud fireworks. For dud fireworks, it is best to wait 30 minutes and soak them in a bucket of water. Dispose of them in a metal container.

7. Discharge fireworks only if wind conditions do not create a safety hazard.

8. Keep sparklers away from children. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can ignite clothing, cause blindness and result in severe burns. As the sparkler wire remains hot for some minutes after burnout, it should be immediately soaked in water to avoid injury.

9. If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for three to five minutes and seek medical attention, if necessary.


Unattended Cooking Incidents On The Rise! (May. 12, 2021)

Woodstock – May 12, 2021, At 8:15pm on Tuesday May 11th Woodstock Firefighters were called to a report of smoke in a kitchen of a residential home. Upon arrival it was found the fire was caused by cooking grease on the stovetop.  The fire had caused damage to above cupboards and microwave range.

“Woodstock Fire has noticed a rise in the number of incidents related to “unattended cooking” from this time last year” said Fire Chief Jeff Slager. “Kitchen fires are the number one cause of home fires and fire injuries in Ontario. Provincially the number of fire fatalities are at 54 which is up from 44 at the same time last year” he added. “We want to stress to the citizens of Woodstock the importance of being alert while in the kitchen”

Here are tips for preventing cooking fires:

• To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. You will not be alert if you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol, drugs or medicine that makes you drowsy.

• Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. If you must leave, turn off the stove.

• Keep anything that burns—oven mitts, cooking utensils, dish cloths, paper towels and pot holders— a safe distance from the stove.

• Keep a proper-fitting pot lid near the stove when cooking. If a pot catches fire slide the lid over the pot and turn off the stove. Do not move the pot until it has cooled completely.

• Loose-fitting clothes can come into contact with stove burners and catch fire. Wear short sleeves, tight sleeves or roll them up when cooking.

Kitchen fires are preventable, remember to “Look while you Cook”.

The Fire Prevention Division would like to remind residents that smoke alarms are required on every level of your home, including outside of all sleeping areas. Smoke alarms provide you with an early warning should a fire occur and can allow advance time for you and your family to safely escape.

Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms today and ensure they are working!

If you require assistance or have questions please contact our Fire Prevention Division at

(519) 537-3412 extension 5203 or you can also get safety information from the Woodstock Fire Department website, accessible from website.


 Spring Cleaning Your Yard? Dump it! Don’t Burn it! (Mar. 19, 2021)

Woodstock – March 19, 2021 The Woodstock Fire Department is reminding residents that with Spring’s arrival tomorrow and warmer weather prompting the urge to complete yard maintenance, all that yard waste cannot be burned in your fire pit.

“With spring outdoor cleanup starting, we are seeing a rise with incidents where residents are burning brush and yard debris on their property,” explained Fire Chief Slager.  “While cleaning up debris and limiting the level of flammable vegetation surrounding your home is a good practice, our Open Air Burning bylaw does not allow for the burning of yard debris. The James Street waste depot is a free location to bring this material.”

In Woodstock a permit is required for all outdoor wood burning appliances. You can access the information at

Open air burning can include the use of outdoor fireplaces and cooking fires not involving the use of a barbeque. Some outdoor appliances used are not recommended because there is potential for personal injury, property damage and increased risk of a grass fire.

“Whether in the backyard of your home, the cottage or at a campground, make fire safety a priority,” said Fire Chief Slager. “Open air burning, especially if left unattended, can become difficult to control and can result in a serious widespread fire.”

Always keep fire safety in mind, contact The Woodstock Fire Department for more information or any questions you have about our open air burning requirements.



 Fire – Detached Garage. Woodstove Safety & Precautions (Jan. 24, 2021)

WOODSTOCK, ON – January 24, 2021 – Woodstock firefighters were dispatched to a report of a detached garage fire with smoke and flames showing at 7:38pm Sunday evening. Fire crews arrived within minutes and the fire was quickly brought under control with no damage to the detached house or neighbouring property. Damages are estimated to be $3,000 to property and contents.  A post fire overhaul determined the cause of the fire to be an improperly installed woodstove in the garage.

If you use wood to heat your home or garage you can enjoy the benefits of a wood burning stove in safe comfort by taking a few simple precautions: 

  • - Creosote, a crusty residue left behind from smoke, may ignite into a dangerous fire.  Reduce creosote by burning only clean (non-treated or painted) and seasoned (dry) wood.  Do not burn garbage materials such as paper, plastics, etc.
  • - Regularly remove ashes from ovens and fireplaces and store in a non-combustible container with lid in a safe area.
  • - Keep combustible and household items away from wood burning stoves and fireplaces.
  • - Use a properly fitted screen around fireplaces to help prevent escaping sparks.
  • - Ensure wood burning stoves and fire places are inspected annually by a qualified technician certified by the Wood Energy Technical Training (WETT) program.

Contact your insurance company for further information.

The Fire Prevention Division would also like to remind residents that as per the Ontario Fire Code you are required to have smoke alarms on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. Smoke alarms provide you with early warning should a fire occur and can allow for advance time for you and your family to safely escape.

If you require assistance or have questions please contact our Fire Prevention Division at (519) 537-3412 extension 5203 or you can also get safety information from the Woodstock Fire Department website.


Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

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